Liverpool using Virgil van Dijk and Luis Diaz strategy to secure Nunez deal for cheap
Premier League transfer news and rumours
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Liverpool are hoping that Darwin Nunez’s interest in moving to Anfield will prevent the club from having to enter a bidding war for the player. The Reds pursued a similar strategy in their quests to sign Virgil Van Dijk and Luis Diaz, successfully acquiring the pair without other clubs weighing in on the deals.
Nunez is Liverpool’s top target for the transfer window with the club desperately in need of reinforcements in attacking areas. The Uruguayan is fresh from an impressive season for Benfica where he scored 34 goals in 41 games including in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against his prospective new owners.
The Portuguese club have slapped an £85 million transfer fee on the striker as a result as they seek to maximise their earnings on the player. He has attracted interest across Europe from clubs like Chelsea, PSG and Liverpool’s fierce rivals Manchester United.
The Independent reports that Liverpool intend to convince Nunez so strongly to join the club that it negates any interest from elsewhere and also weakens Benfica’s negotiating position, with the Anfield side looking to pay less than the £85 million asking price.
It is the same strategy the club used to sign Van Dijk from Southampton and Diaz from Porto earlier this year as both players were so convinced they wanted to join the club that any interest from elsewhere was quickly made pointless, hence allowing Liverpool to negotiate easier deals.
It appears to be working in this case as the noises being made from Nunez’s camp have put United off signing the player. The Old Trafford club do not want to enter a bidding war for the player and new manager Erik ten Hag reportedly sees midfield as his priority instead.
If Nunez does join the club he is likely to be a direct replacement for outgoing forward Sadio Mane. The Senegal international contract runs out at the end of next season and he looks set to bring a successful six-year spell on Merseyside to an end as he seeks a new challenge. He is attracting serious interest from Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions already having two bids turned down for his services.
The futures of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are also unclear with neither contracted beyond the end of next season. The Egyptian star has said he will not leave the club this summer but has suggested he would be open to leaving on a free at the end of next season. Firmino could also depart when his contract comes to an end next year.
At just 22-years-old, Nunez can become a much needed long-term option for the club and could find himself in the Liverpool frontline for the next decade. Jurgen Klopp sees the striker as the perfect option to improve his attack now and for the years to come.
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